Breadfruit Institute
Breadfruit Institute » Hunger Initiative

The Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawai'i, is engaged in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. The Institute conserves and manages the world's largest collection of breadfruit. It has developed strong partnerships to make breadfruit varieties available as a viable sustainable resource for agriculture, agroforestry, and reforestation.


More than 80% of the world's hungry live in tropical and subtropical regions. Facing soaring food, fuel, and fertilizer costs, farmers in the tropics need sustainable, low-input, nutritious crops. Many countries, with a total population of over 2 billion people, have ecological conditions suitable for cultivating breadfruit.

Why Breadfruit?

Breadfruit trees grow easily in a wide range of ecological conditions with minimal input of labor or materials and require little attention or care. Trees begin to bear fruit in three to five years, producing for many decades. An average-sized tree with a canopy cover of 25m2 will conservatively produce 100 fruit (100 kg) while larger trees can yield 400-600 fruit. Yields are superior to other starchy staples due, in part, to its verticality of production. A similar-sized plot of land planted in plantains or root and tuber crops will produce less food while needing greater labor and materials. Breadfruit contributes to sustainable food security, diversified sustainable agriculture and agroforestry, improved soil conditions and watersheds, and valuable environmental benefits including reduction of CO2.

Nutritionally, breadfruit is high in carbohydrates and a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, and niacin. Some breadfruit varieties are also good sources of anti-oxidants and carotenoids. Prepared and eaten at all stages of development, it can be roasted, baked, boiled, fried, pickled, fermented, frozen, and dried and ground into flour or starch. A seeded form known as 'breadnut' is grown for its nutritious, tasty seeds which contain 13-20% protein, 6-29% fat, and are a good source of potassium, calcium, and niacin. Seeds are boiled, roasted, or ground into meal or flour.


Strategic partnerships are key to realizing breadfruit's global potential. The Breadfruit Institute is working with NGOs on pilot projects to distribute breadfruit varieties to Honduras and the Caribbean. The Institute is a member of the Alliance to End Hunger, (a coalition of 70 corporations, non-profit organizations, universities, individuals, and religious groups, working together to create real change for hungry people. In August 2008, NTBG and the Government of Samoa entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing NTBG to distribute three Samoan breadfruit varieties globally through a horticultural partner, Cultivaris, LLC. The first of several agreements in progress with countries of origin for breadfruit varieties at NTBG, this benefit-sharing arrangement will support conservation and capacity building in the Pacific, helping perpetuate traditional crop varieties and cultural knowledge. This landmark agreement underscores NTBG's commitment to the "Convention on Biological Diversity."

Cultivaris LLC is an innovative horticultural company with extensive experience in producing and marketing plants globally. In 2008, the Breadfruit Institute asked Cultivaris, the parent company of Global Breadfruit, to develop a method of commercial distribution that would enable global distribution of the plants, but in a way that would substantially improve the success rate of past efforts. The management put together a team and after extensive research, developed a system of shipping healthy, vigorous young plants that will grow quickly and easily into a productive trees. At this critical time of global food security issues, this exciting partnership between researchers, government, and the private sector now makes widespread cultivation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation feasible. This project can alleviate hunger, provide long-term food security, and enhance the livelihoods of farmers in the tropics.

The Breadfruit Institute is seeking partners to help fund this work and distribute trees to farmers in the tropics. Contact us to learn more about how to become involved in our breadfruit initiative.

Breadfruit Trees Arrive in Zambia

We are thrilled to report that 288 breadfruit plugs arrived safely in Zambia after months of planning. Part of the Global Hunger Initiative, the young trees were hand-carried in luggage from Berlin to Zambia by Bruni Friedrich of our partner organization Planting a Future for Zambia. Trees of three different varieties from Global Breadfruit will make their way through the heart of Zambia to Chinkonono Village, where they will be housed in a nursery until they are ready to be distributed to farmers and villagers. This is the second shipment of breadfruit trees Zambia has received through the initiative to be planted as a staple food source for this region.

Ghana receives 4,000 Breadfruit Trees

4,000 breadfruit trees were delivered healthy and safely from Global Breadfruit to Ghana to increase awareness for this crop as a solution to malnutrition and hunger. The trees were shipped to the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) nursery. After the hardening process, the trees will be distributed to researchers, community groups and a network of farmers who will sell the fruits at cost in local markets.

Big Plans for Breadfruit in Costa Rica

Tropico Agroforstal received 1,500 breadfruit trees to be distributed in the Huertar Carribean Region of Costa Rica. This area has the highest rate of poverty in the country and the most ideal conditions for growing breadfruit. As the nutritional value and economic benefits of growing breadfruit become increasingly recognized throughout the country, the demand for trees is expanding. However, the price of quality breadfruit trees is too high for many who would most benefit from increased food security and better nutrition. The trees will be transplanted and cared for in greenhouses at Jungle Foods, a newly established B corporation, until they are large enough to be made available to small farmers, community groups, non-profit organizations, and cooperatives for a nominal fee to help defray the cost of hardening. Excess fruit not used for home consumption will be purchased by Jungle Foods and processed into breadfruit chips, fries, and flour.

Bahamas Battles Storm Damage with Breadfruit

Hurricane Joaquin struck the Bahamas and caused substantial damage and deforestation in October, especially to Long Island. After the storm, one resident described the island as a "brown carpet." In January, in conjunction with the local Ministry of Agriculture and a small-farmers co-operative, 1,000 breadfruit trees from Global Breadfruit were transported by barge to Nassau, where they were then distributed to Long Island. A small mail-delivery plane carried the trees that were distributed to local schools in Exuma, a district in the Bahamas consisting of 365 small islands or cays. At Black Point Settlement and Farmers Cay schools, students are already learning about their trees under the theme of "Sharing is Caring."

Update from Nicaragua

Nicaragua was one of the first countries to receive micropropagated Ma`afala and `Ulu fiti breadfruit plants from the Global Hunger Initiative in 2012. In a recent update, French agronomist Jean-Francois Julia of FADCANIC says, "They perfectly grew, they are magnificent. We found each of the two varieties delicious. Ma`afala is particularly interesting to make flour and to prepare a local creamy drink called `criminal.` `Ulu fiti is particularly appreciated to make French chips and tostones." The trees were distributed to small holder farmers in eight different coastal regions, producing their first harvest after just over two years.

Sri Lanka Receives Breadfruit Trees

In September, 20 breadfruit trees were sent from Global Breadfruit`s German facility to Sri Lanka, making the island nation the 37th country to receive trees through the Initiative. The trees will be used for research purposes by the Ministry of Agriculture, and will hopefully begin the start of breadfruit commercialization there.

A Generous Donation to Dominica`s Future Food Security

On August 17, 2015, the 128th birthday of Jamaican political leader Marcus Mosiah Garvey, 392 breadfruit plants left the Global Breadfruit facility in Florida for the island of Dominica. Garvey`s son, Dr. Julius Garvey, surgeon, philanthropist, and food security advocate donated the 392 trees to Dominica, making the island the 35th country to receive breadfruit trees in the Global Hunger Initiative. The Ulu fiti and Otea plants arrived safely at the Douglas/Charles airport the next day, and are the first of their varieties to arrive in Dominica. Members of the CAN (Caribbean Agriculture Network) team and staff of the Division of Agriculture transported the plants to the green house at the Portsmouth Agriculture Station where they will be hardened for approximately three months before distribution as a public/private sector initiative. At the end of the hardening process, the objective of the project is to distribute the plants within the seven agricultural regions on island.

Breadfruit Trees in Suitcases Arrive Safely to Antigua and Barbuda

64 breadfruit plugs from Global Breadfruit made their debut on Antigua and Barbuda in early August. Carried on a flight from Florida by CaFAN Agriculture (Caribbean Farmers Network) Coordinator Pamella Thomas, the trees were transplanted and placed in a protected shade-house immediately on arrival.

Breadfruit Global Hunger Initiative

The Breadfruit Institute is engaged in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. The institute manages the world`s largest collection of breadfruit, conserving over 120 varieties. The Breadfruit Institute has developed effective methods to propagate and distribute millions of breadfruit plants of selected varieties that can provide a year-round supply of nutritious fruit. This initiative aims to disseminate breadfruit plants to support more sustainable agriculture, increase crop diversity, and enhance food security in the tropics.

60,000 breadfruit trees have been distributed to 33 countries since 2009 in Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Oceania, & Asia.

The Breadfruit Institute welcomes your support to help us distribute and plant more trees.

Belize Joins the Breadfruit Revolution

Belize became the 33rd country to receive breadfruit trees from the Global Hunger Initiative when farmer Marc Ellenby landed at PG International Airport with a bag of 288 plants. Marc hand-carried the little plugs from Global Breadfruit from Florida. The trees will be part of a sustainability project he’s been working on for ten years, which includes corn, cassava, amaranth, chaya, and other diverse plants.

Trees That Feed Foundation in Jamaica and Haiti

Mike and Mary McLaughlin of the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) traveled to Jamaica to check on TTFF trees and meet with partners. Their Trees That Feed In Schools (TTFIS) program, a flagship partnership program between TTFF and Rotary, is providing thousands of students across the island access to nutritious, sustainable food sources. Through TTFIS, Trees That Feed, Rotary and the Jamaican Government have come together to place food-bearing trees in Jamaica`s schools.

TTFF sent more than 1,000 breadfruit trees to Haiti in January, and continue their work to feed school children there, as well. With TTFF`s support, more than a ton of breadfruit flour has been made at the Universite de la Nouvelle GrandAnse in Les Irois, Haiti. The flour is used in a hot porridge and feeds thousands of children everyday.

2,000 Breadfruit Trees for Kenya

Boxes full of 2,000 young breadfruit trees made it safely to Kenya! The trees were donated by the Breadfruit Institute and Global Breadfruit and given to food security consultant Quincy Burgess and his organization Bonsai Global. The trees are part of Bonsai Global`s Feeding 10 Million in 10 Years campaign, and will be planted throughout Kenya.

2014: Feeding the World

2014 was an incredible year for the Global Hunger Initiative. Seven countries received breadfruit trees for the first time to increase their food security this year: Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Bahamas, Barbados, Rwanda, Pakistan, and Zambia. Since the initiative`s launch in 2009, more than 52,000 breadfruit trees have been sent to 31 countries. If one breadfruit tree can feed a family of four for 40-60 years, that`s food for more than 200,000 for generations. Thank you to our partners worldwide for their help, support, and hard work to further our collective mission to use breadfruit to decrease world hunger and increase reforestation!

Another Country Receives Breadfruit Trees Through the Hunger Initiative

On November 23, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) became the newest country to receive breadfruit trees through the Global Hunger Initiative. Several local varieties of breadfruit flourish throughout the 24 coral atolls comprising the RMI, but these varieties do not produce a year-round crop. Seeing the need to augment food security in the isolated island nation, the Ministry of Resources and Development imported several hundred breadfruit trees to achieve a more consistent supply of fruit. The first shipment of trees will be planted in Majuro, the capital and most populous atoll of the RMI, with subsequent orders being sent to other islands with the goal of mitigating food security using a traditional food source.

Battling Epidemic and Poverty with Breadfruit

Our partners at First Avenue International (FAI) reported in November that Liberia now has 1,000 breadfruit trees planted in the ground! In the spring of 2014, a partnership between the Breadfruit Institute, Global Breadfruit, and FAI launched the Liberian Breadfruit Promotion Program under the Clinic on Entrepreneurship Initiative. BFI donated 1,000 breadfruit trees that were hand-carried to Liberia by Global Breadfruit`s Josh Schneider. Once the trees were safely in Liberia, Cuttington University`s Center for Entrepreneurship Development provided program oversight, and the Liberian Central Agricultural Research Institute provided nursery space, conducted training and distribution to plant recipients, and carried out monitoring and evaluation at recipient sites. Each recipient received a certificate and a breadfruit care guide. FAI`s Tacarra Birmingham writes, "In the wake of the ebola crisis, food security has taken somewhat of a backseat to health programs, but we are constantly reminding our partners in Liberia that health and nutrition go hand in hand. We are working with students to develop Liberian-inspired dishes using breadfruit, as well as assisting entrepreneurs in creating products derived from local breadfruit."

The Breadfruit Institute donated 1,000 breadfruit trees to the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) for distribution in Haiti. The trees are designated for the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) in Gonaives, Haiti. SFA has over 2,000 community members and works with small-scale farmers to help restore tree cover and increase food production. The trees arrived at Three Angels Nursery in Port au Prince, on July 1, 2014. Mr. Timote Georges, SFA Co-founder and Director, picked up trees between July and November for delivery to SFA. Once trees arrive in Gonaives, they are distributed amongst eleven nurseries within the Alliance. Alliance members pay for trees through work. For example, a farmer may receive 10 breadfruit trees in exchange for one week of working at one of the eleven SFA nurseries. TTFF reported in November that more than 700 of the 1,000 trees have been planted.

Breadfruit Trees in the EARTH

A generous donation sent 1,440 breadfruit trees from Global Breadfruit to EARTH University in Costa Rica last Spring. By October, the trees were healthy and strong, and left the nursery to be planted in the field. These trees will be part of the world`s largest agronomic study on breadfruit, and the results of this multifaceted research project will benefit growers around the world. Several thousand more trees will be sent to EARTH in the next few years.

Breadfruit Trees Teach Children in the Bahamas

Our partners at the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) donated 72 Ma`afala trees to Every Child Counts, the only special needs school in Abaco, Bahamas. The trees will be incorporated into the school`s farming classes and cared for by the children until they are ready to sell to the public, with the proceeds going to the school`s operations. TTFF also sent more than 1,000 trees to Haiti, continuing their work to use breadfruit for reforestation and economic development in that country.

Breadfruit for Zambia

We`re thrilled that Zambia has become the latest country to receive breadfruit trees from the Global Hunger Initiative. BFI donated 100 trees that were hand-carried in a backpack from Global Breadfruit in Germany to Zambian Lloyd Lukama Kasela. For more than six months, Lloyd has worked tirelessly to bring breadfruit to his country, driving hundreds of kilometers for the correct permits and educating his community. The trees are thriving in a greenhouse Lloyd built himself, and grew new leaf shoots less than two weeks after their arrival. His blog, Plant A Future, is chronicling the progress of tree planting projects for Zambia. Trees have already been donated to farms, families and an orphanage.

Food for Thought

The important collaboration between BFI, the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), and Global Breadfruit has resulted in another outstanding breadfruit cultivar available for distribution. `Ulu fiti is delicious and productive. A 4m tall, 6-year-old tree in the McBryde Garden produced nearly 200 fruit in one year. This variety has an interesting provenance. It was first collected on the island of Rotuma in the early 1960s by a team from the South Pacific Commission. Trees were planted at an extensive regional breadfruit collection in Samoa that was subsequently abandoned. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ragone rescued `Ulu fiti and other varieties, conserving them in NTBG`s breadfruit collection. This variety is extremely nutritious. A single fruit can provide most of the mineral requirements, such as iron, for 2 adult women or 1 adult woman and 1 child.

On Friday, September 19, our partners at the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) launched their bold campaign to feed thousands of school children in Jamaica. The "Trees that Feed In Schools" project has already presented more than 60 schools with young breadfruit trees, and aims to distribute almost 5,000 more in the next six months. Over 200,000 children began receiving breakfast and lunch free or at a subsidized price at the start of the new school year. The Jamaican Observer`s article, "Breadfruit boost for schools," was picked up and circulated by the Ottawa Star, New Zealand Herald, Belfast Telegraph UK, Caribdaily Caribbean News, and other media outlets.

Inspiration on a Global Scale

Breadfruit tree planting projects continue worldwide. Since April, as part of our Global Hunger Initiative, Samoa, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Barbados received their first-ever shipments of breadfruit trees from Global Breadfruit. The One Acre Fund received 144 trees to launch a program for breadfruit in Rwanda, expandable to other countries in East Africa where they work. On August 27, Barbados became the latest country to receive breadfruit trees, largely due to a donation from our partners at the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF).

TTFF continues their incredible work to reforest Haiti with breadfruit trees to provide food security and economic development for the future. In August, over 2,000 young Ma`afala plants arrived in Haiti at Three Angels Children`s Relief. In just one day, volunteers and workers watered and then repotted all the trees in special potting soil mix created by Three Angels` President Eric Helgemo. We were able to provide 1,000 trees to TTFF through our Plant a Tree of Life project.

Quincy Burgess` Feeding 10 Million In Ten Years campaign continues its efforts to plant Breadfruit along the coast of Kenya for food security. He and his family drove more than 300km to the market town of Voi in southern Kenya, where they planted the country`s first breadfruit orchard. From Quincy, "This is a thank you to all the work that has gone on in the past years which have paved the way for Breadfruit. The possibilities have only become possible because of the efforts, ideas and risks taken by few. Thank you, Diane Ragone, much of the research you have done has made it possible for me to plant this remarkable tree in arid areas of Kenya. A huge thank you to Josh Schneider and Global Breadfruit to making large quantities of trees and cultivars available. The journey has just begun!"

Feeding Children, Growing Trees

Our partners at the Trees That Feed Foundation aren`t back-to-school shopping--they`re back-to-school planting. With the start of the new academic year around the corner, TTFF continues to focus on providing sustainable food sources to communities and children who need them most. For this school year, they have partnered with Jamaica`s Ministry of Education and Rotary to plant breadfruit trees in all of Jamaica`s 3,000 schools. This initiative has been in the planning process since last year, and will officially launch in September.

Growing in Africa

In Ghana, the Ma`afala trees sent in partnership with the Hunger Alliance of Ghana two years ago look healthy and strong. They are thriving on farms, home gardens, and community plantings. Elsewhere in Africa, interest in breadfruit tree planting projects is growing in Kenya and East Africa through the efforts of Quincy Burgess. Quincy is busy meeting with government agencies and others to raise support for his project to "Feed 10 Million in 10 Years." Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development & Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard University, was thrilled to plant 30 breadfruit trees in Kisumu on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria.

Giving Back to Samoa

In July, BFI`s Director, Dr. Diane Ragone, traveled to Samoa and presented a check of $12,240 to the Acting Prime Minister of Samoa, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo. The check represents royalties resulting from sales of Samoan Ma`afala breadfruit trees through a landmark benefit-sharing agreement between the Samoan government and the National Tropical Botanical Garden. A portion of the revenues NTBG receives for every Ma`afala tree sold by our partners at Global Breadfruit goes back to Samoa, where this variety originated. The royalties help support the work of the Ministry of Agriculture in research and development of new crops and new varieties of breadfruit for the Samoan people.
Samoan media representatives from television, radio and print spread the news about the check and Dr. Ragone`s work to the point where she was stopped on the street and happily recognized as "the Breadfruit Lady." Dr. Ragone also met with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa about developing breadfruit flour, visited the Women in Business and Development project, the University of the South Pacific at Alafua, the Nu`u Agricultural Research Station and wrapped up her visit with a well-attended lecture at the National University of Samoa.

Dr. Ragone hand-carried a flat of 60 Aveloloa breadfruit plants and presented them as part of BFI`s Plant a Tree of Life project. Aveloloa is an indigenous variety of breadfruit, and these micro-propagated baby trees are the first indigenous variety to be returned to their home country. Aveloloa has particular significance as it is used to make a special dish, taufolo, traditionally served to the chiefs. The trees are becoming uncommon because of devastating hurricanes in the past two decades and the 2009 tsunami.

Then, Samoa gave back to Hawaii to benefit new research. 20 kg of breadfruit (`ulu) flour from Natural Foods International Ltd in Apia, Samoa was transported on three different planes and delivered to Honolulu for the Regional Breadfruit Initiative. This project, spearheaded by the Pacific Business Center Program at the University of Hawaii, aims to develop production and export of flour and product development to support Pacific Island peoples and economies.

Breadfruit Trees Thriving Worldwide

Congratulations to our partners at the Trees that Feed Foundation for receiving the Environmental Action Award from the Jamaica Environment Trust in June of 2014. The award recognizes groups and individuals who are doing great things for the environment in Jamaica. In June alone, more than 2,000 young Breadfruit trees from TTFF and Global Breadfruit arrived in Jamaica. These trees will be ready for distribution to farmers and other growers in just a few months. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and the Jamaican Parliament learned about the nutritious foods made from breadfruit from the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association, including breadfruit flour and breadfruit muffin mix.

Reports are coming in from across the globe that micropropagated Ma`afala trees are thriving. The tree planted at the Ranomafana Arboretum in Madagascar in 2012 looks healthy and strong. Global Partners and Cory Thede in Haiti report that the Ma`afalas they planted in the winter of 2012 have produced their first fruit, even after a dry spring!

Trees for Liberia and Haiti

May saw solid developments for our partners at Global Breadfruit. After successful meetings with government officials in Monrovia in April, a second shipment of breadfruit trees was sent and well received. More than 1,000 trees will be incorporated into an entrepreneurship program in connection with a local university. African interest has been steadily increasing. An investment group from Nigeria is going to sample breadfruit flour before moving to the next stages, and strong interest was received from Kenya for a large scale planting of trees to decrease famine locally and throughout all of Africa.

In May, Mary and Mike McLaughlin, founders of the Trees That Feed Foundation, visited Haiti to meet with partners, including Three Angels Relief, where about 287 students receive breadfruit porridge meals regularly at the school. TTFF has distributed several thousand breadfruit trees in Haiti and established a solid network of partners.The foundation also announced that they have hired their first ever employee,Theresa Candler, as Manager. She will work in all areas of their mission, and help to handle programs, improve communication skills, and build new partnerships. And more thrilling news--the Ma`afala trees planted 3 years ago in Port Au Prince are bearing their first fruit.

Food or Liberia`s Future

Josh Schneider at Global Breadfruit flew to Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to help launch national breadfruit tree planting projects in partnership with First Avenue International and the Liberian government. Breadfruit events were held on two days as well as visits to farms and villages where breadfruit is grown. Josh and his colleagues were joined by breadfruit enthusiasts from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and breadfruit has great potential to make a difference in the lives and livelihoods of Liberians and other West Africans. The Ceres Trust has allowed us to expand the Plant a Tree of Life project to support selected international projects and we are delighted to be able to provide 1000 trees to Liberia.

Down to EARTH

A generous donation at the beginning of 2014 allowed the Breadfruit Institute to give more than 1,000 breadfruit trees to EARTH University in Costa Rica. The trees finally shipped to EARTH from Global Breadfruit, after it took nearly a year to get the required plant import permit from the Costa Rican government. They will be incorporated into the most comprehensive agronomic project ever undertaken with breadfruit. This study will include field tests on best soils; mulches, pruning techniques; planting methods: monoculture versus mixed agroforests, optimal spacing for each variety; irrigation; fruiting patterns at various elevations; pest and disease management; general care; and best practices for small and large groves.

Breadfruit Trees Sent to Pakistan

Pakistan became the 27th country to receive trees since the launch of the initiative in 2009. The Breadfruit Tree Trust of Pakistan, established by a group of expatriates living in Canada, brought in more than 400 trees and plans to continue expanding the project to bring in 800 in 2015. This is the first time that breadfruit will be planted in this country.

Working Together Through Partnerships

The Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) recently expanded their support to Puerto Rico, providing 432 trees to help two young entrepreneurs start a commercial breadfruit business.This project is a great example of how the Breadfruit Institute, Global Breadfruit (GB), and TTFF work together on breadfruit projects. Mr. Josue Rodriquez contacted the Institute in 2013. We put him in touch with TTFF, who then offered breadfruit trees to get his company up and running more quickly. Global Breadfruit provided technical information and guidance on growing the trees and planting them. In addition to the trees being donated by TTFF, other Puerto Rican farmers have purchased several hundred trees from GB, and interest has been steadily increasing from the island.

In Haiti, working closely with Three Angels Relief, breadfruit trees are brought in and grown at the nursery funded and supported by TTFF. Several thousand trees are scheduled for shipment to Haiti this spring. Three Angels distributes trees ready to plant to other relief organizations, churches, and schools and is using local breadfruit to feed 1,000 children each day on a porridge made from its flour.

New Website for Global Breadfruit

On January 17th, Global Breadfruit`s updated website ( went live! The new dynamic site, written by Global Breadfruit staff and the Breadfruit Institute`s Director Diane Ragone and Collection Manager/ Curator Ian Cole, features comprehensive information about breadfruit and best practices, as well as an overview of their projects in various countries around the world. In addition to providing increased information, the website also makes it easy to compare and determine which commercial varieties are most advantageous to specific growers. By providing an aesthetic tutorial promoting breadfruit, they expect to increase awareness and make it easier for growers to purchase trees.

To broaden grower interest and to continue promoting the conservation of breadfruit, Global Breadfruit has begun weaning four additional varieties, which should be available for sale this summer. Detailed overviews of these new varieties will launch on the website in the spring.

Trees That Feed in Jamaica

Under the leadership of Mary and Mike McLaughlin, the Trees That Feed Foundation (TTFF) has been extremely active in Jamaica.They`ve cultivated a strong relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture, and work closely with them to bring in young breadfruit plants from Global Breadfruit and local Jamaican nurseries.The plants are then grown at the government`s research station in Orange River. After six months in a nursery setting, the trees can be planted in groves and orchards around the country.

More than 3,000 breadfruit trees will soon be delivered to farmers in partnership with Jamaica`s Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA). RADA`s job is to support and assist farmers in their efforts to grow crops like breadfruit.With a diverse network to distribute and plant trees and develop and expand economic opportunities TTFF works closely with Rotary clubs, agricultural cooperatives, community organizations, schools, food processors, and others in the private sector. In December they began exploring setting up similar programs and projects in Barbados.

Samoan Breadfruit for Tahiti

Tahiti is renowned as the source of breadfruit cultivars now growing in the Caribbean and other tropical countries as a result of Captain Bligh`s voyages in the early 1790s. The Breadfruit Institute and Global Breadfruit have returned the favor, and, at the request of the government of French Polynesia, introduced a new breadfruit to Tahiti! In March, Josh Schneider of Global Breadfruit delivered their order of 2,500 Ma`afala trees to the Ministry of Agriculture. During a whirlwind trip to three islands he met with the President, the Minister of Agriculture, and other staff, and joined more than 2,000 people at an `Uru (Breadfruit) Festival in Papeete to celebrate their traditional staple.

Samoa Benefits from Breadfruit Institute Collaboration

The Government of Samoa received a check for sales of a Samoan breadfruit cultivar as a result of a landmark benefit-sharing agreement entered into over four years ago. The check was presented in early December by Dr. Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), which is headquartered in Hawai`i, to the the Honorable Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries of Samoa, in the capital of Apia.

In 2008, NTBG entered into a memorandum of understanding with government of Samoa that the nonprofit NTBG is designated as Samoa`s agent/representative to distribute Samoan breadfruit varieties globally through Cultivaris/Global Breadfruit, a horticultural partner with growing facilities in California, Europe, and Central America. For each tree sold, NTBG receives a net licensing fee and, in turn, gives half of that fee to the Samoan government.

The foundation for the agreement stems back to the 1980s when Dr. Ragone spent years of collecting breadfruit varieties throughout the tropical Pacific. NTBG established a comprehensive collection of trees at its Maui garden in 1989. In order to put greater emphasis on the conservation and study of this important food crop, NTBG formed its Breadfruit Institute in 2003 with Dr. Ragone at the helm. After conducting a number of studies in nutrition and seasonality, the Institute began collaborating with Dr. Susan Murch, now at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, an expert in in vitro micropropagation. Breadfruit is generally propagated vegetatively, from root shoots. Dr. Murch`s tissue culture work thus far has put two Samoan varieties, Ma`afala and `Ulu fiti, into mass production by Cultivaris. In addition to those originating in Samoa, Dr. Murch has had success with several other varieties from the Pacific.

The $5,203 check is the result of the first full year of tree sales.

"At this critical time of global food security issues, these exciting partnerships now make it possible for the Breadfruit Institute to make significant advances in promoting the cultivation and use of breadfruit," said Ragone. "We now have the means to produce and distribute millions of breadfruit trees for tree planting projects in the tropics, where hunger and lack of food sustainability are prevalent. In the past two years, trees of a superior variety have been distributed by Global Breadfruit to 14 countries, including Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, and Myanmar."

"This landmark agreement underscores NTBG`s commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The agreement will support conservation and capacity building with the countries of origin for breadfruit varieties at the NTBG. It will use this incomparable collection to return benefits to Pacific nations and their people, helping to perpetuate traditional crop varieties, knowledge, and cultural practices involving breadfruit. It`s a win-win."

Breadfruit Institute Receives Grant to Distribute Breadfruit Trees in Hawaii

The Breadfruit Institute is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant by the Ceres Trust to distribute breadfruit trees in Hawaii. The Ceres Trust, whose name pays homage to the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture, has as its main focus the support and promotion of organic and sustainable agriculture.

Our Plant a Tree of Life - Grow `Ulu project aims to distribute more than 4,000 trees statewide in partnership with organizations that serve native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, low income residents, and their communities.

If your organization in interested in participating in this project to help enhance food sustainability in Hawaii by planting more breadfruit trees, please send us an email at:

Follow the project on Facebook:

Congratulations to the Winners of the Breadfruit Drying Contest

The University of St. Thomas in collaboration with the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Compatible Technology International would like to thank the 15 teams from multiple countries that submitted designs to the Peace Engineering: Breadfruit Drier Contest and announce the two winning teams.

First Place was awarded to the `Oldsters` from Compatible Technology International consisting of George Ewing, Hank Garwick and Dave Elton using a stacked shelf method.

Second Place was awarded to the team from the University of California, Davis consisting of Michael Reid and James Thompson using a natural convection method.

The two winning teams will present their designs to the Breadfruit Institute in March.

Congratulations to these two teams and we all look forward to seeing the results of your designs in Hawaii.

To learn more about the breadfruit processing enterprise:

Hawaii Women Inmates Nuture Breadfruit Trees

In September 2008, the Breadfruit Institute and Global Breadfruit donated 10 micro-propagated breadfruit Ma`afala plants to the Garden Club of Honolulu for a project at the Women`s Community Correctional Center on Oahu. Volunteers from the Garden Club and the Kailua Outdoor Circle provide inmates with horticultural training and are helping enhance the prison grounds by planting food, lei, and other useful plants. The warden, Mark Patterson, is a strong advocate for the role of horticulture in rehabilitation.

Breadfruit trees and project information displayed at the GCH show at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in April 2009 won a prestigious education award from the Garden Club of America.

All 10 plants were planted at the prison in July 2009 and are thriving under the care of the inmates. The trees are close to eight feet tall and beginning to bear their first crop of fruit.

Diane Ragone, PhD, Director of the Institute, joined volunteers from the Garden Club on February 14, 2012, to talk with the newer inmates about the benefits of the breadfruit trees and the role they will play in caring for these trees and in creating a healthy food source.

The women involved with the project are passionate and feel personal responsibility for its success.

Media coverage of the project included a report on Hawaii Public radio.

Trees That Feed Foundation Expands Haiti Breadfruit Projects

Mary and Mike McLaughlin, co-founders of the Trees That Feed Foundation, recently visited Haiti to promote breadfruit planting projects for food security, reforestation and income generation. They delivered 500 Ma`afala plants from Global Breadfruit ( Recipients of the donated trees included three orphanages, a new botanical gardens, watershed restoration groups, other small organizations, and a few interested individuals. The foundation is working closely with Three Angels Children`s Relief and establishing partnerships with new organizations, such as Floresta Haiti, a reforestation organization interested in planting breadfruit trees in rural areas.

While in Haiti, they visited many potential growing areas. They also held a meeting on the grounds of the Hotel Montana in Port au Prince that was attended by close to 30 people, including many young Haitians, to share their knowledge and passion for breadfruit`s potential for Haiti. At the meeting they displayed breadfruit products that are made in Jamaica, Barbados and Indonesia with low tech equipment.

Their goal is to plant 1,000,000 breadfruit trees in Haiti within 10 years.

To learn more about the Trees That Feed Foundation:

Breadfruit Institute Year in Review - Part 1

Ten countries have received breadfruit plants from Global Breadfruit ( as part of the Breadfruit Institute`s Global Hunger Initiative.

In Africa, plants have been shipped to nurseries in Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

Haiti and Jamaica in the Caribbean, and Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America have plants in nursery and many trees have planted in farmer`s fields, agriculture stations, and orphanages.

Hawaii and Guam round out the list, with homeowners and farmers planting trees.

Tree planting partners include Sustainable Harvest International, Trees That Feed Foundation, ARN Foundation, and the Hunger Alliance of Ghana.

Breadfruit Processing Enterprise

The Breadfruit Institute and Compatible Technology International (CTI)in St. Paul, Minnesota are partnering on a processing enterprise to transform breadfruit into flour. CTI engineers, in conjunction with students from the University of Saint Thomas, have designed a manual processing system--a shredder, dryer, and grinder--that can be used to make breadfruit flour.

The breadfruit processing system will be tested at the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii to demonstrate the equipment`s functionality and economic viability.

Families and communities planting Ma`afala and other breadfruit varieties from the Breadfruit Institute will have access to a simple means to process breadfruit into flour and generate income.

To learn more about the CTI breadfruit shredder:

Trees That Feed Foundation Launches Haiti Breadfruit Projects

The Trees That Feed Foundation is now establishing breadfruit tree planting projects in Haiti. Volunteers from the Chicago area have helped establish a roof top nursery at Three Angels Children’s Relief (orphanage, school, and medical clinic) in Port au Prince. Three shipments of trees have been received and are doing well.

To Learn More about TTFF and their work in Jamaica and Haiti:

The Breadfruit Revolution Begins in Africa

The Breadfruit Institute has launched its first collaborative breadfruit program in Africa working with the Hunger Alliance of Ghana under the leadership of Nana Ayim Poahwah. This project has been in the planning stages for nearly a year and on 13 October 2011, the first 1,000 trees were delivered to Ghana by Garry Grueber of Global Breadfruit.

The trees will be cared for in the nursery of the Crops Research Institute - Agricultural Research Station at Bunso, and then distributed to farmers and research stations for monitoring of growth, production, and yields. Trees will also be planted at urban and rural homesteads, at public schools, in other community plantings, and on small farm forest and field plots.

"The trees will be admired and observed in the general course of life around small and medium-sized towns and their rural environs." Nana Poakwah.

The Institute wishes to thank Dr. Jeff Marck for his tireless efforts to incite a breadfruit revolution in Africa, Mr. Poakwah, Josh Schneider and Garry Grueber of Global Breadfruit. We are especially grateful for the support of an anonymous donor who made this project possible.

Maafala Breadfruit Tree Planted at Kings House, Jamaica

The Governor-General of Jamaica planted a Ma’afala breadfruit tree at King’s House, assisted by the Custos of Trelawny. This Samoan variety was planted as part of major initiative spearheaded by the Trees That Feed Foundation working with the Kingston Rotary Club and other local organizations. Their goal is to have a breadfruit tree in every backyard in Jamaica.

King’s House is the official residence of the Governor General of Jamaica.

To learn more visit:

Trees That Feed Foundation Brings Breadfruit Trees To Jamaica

An article in the Jamaica Observer Newspaper on Trees That Feed Foundation’s work to promote breadfruit tree planting projects in Jamaica.

Breadfruit Global Hunger Initiative

The Breadfruit Institute is engaged in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. The institute manages the world`s largest collection of breadfruit, conserving over 120 varieties. The Breadfruit Institute has developed effective methods to propagate and distribute millions of breadfruit plants of selected varieties that can provide a year-round supply of nutritious fruit. This initiative aims to disseminate breadfruit plants to support more sustainable agriculture, increase crop diversity, and enhance food security in the tropics. The Breadfruit Institute is seeking partners to help fund this work and help distribute trees to farmers.

Haiti Breadfruit Project Launches

The ARN Foundation is working with the Breadfruit Institute and Global Breadfruit to introduce new breadfruit varieties to Haiti. The first shipment of 64 plants of the variety, Ma’afala, was hand delivered to the nursery in Digue Matheux.

We are very excited about this project and breadfruit’s potential for food and reforestation in Haiti.

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New Breadfruit Trees Planted in Jamaica for Food Security

Trees That Feed Foundation is working with the Breadfruit Institute and Global Breadfruit to introduce new breadfruit varieties to Jamaica. The first shipment of 50 plants of the variety, Ma’afala, was shipped in December 2009 and were field planted in summer 2010.

There is great interest in breadfruit for food security initiatives and to supply the local and export fresh fruit markets, for manufacture of gluten-free flour, and for breadfruit chips and other products.

To Learn More:

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